Carter Meeting Agriculture Ministers In TongaAssociate Minister for Food, Fibre, Biosecurity and Border Control
Hon David Carter, Associate Minister for Food and Fibre, will join Agriculture Ministers from across the Pacific at a United Nation's Third Meeting of South West Pacific Ministers of Agriculture in Tonga early next week.
The meeting will discuss food security in the South Pacific, as well as issues of trade in agricultural and fisheries products, policy reforms affecting producers in the region, and the need for diversification and sustainability in South Pacific agriculture.
The meeting is being organised by the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) of the United Nations.
Mr Carter said he was looking forward to meeting his South Pacific counterparts, and working with them to find solutions to agricultural problems in the region.
"As South Pacific countries we have a lot in common in that we all still rely fairly heavily on agricultural and fisheries trade. As mostly small producers, South Pacific countries face uphill battles marketing our products internationally."
"Trade and sustainability of resources will be the key issues for Agriculture Ministers at this meeting, and regional co-operation encouraged by meetings like this has to work in our favour."
Mr Carter said as Minister responsible for Forestry he was particularly looking forward to a planned tour of a forestry nursery run by Tonga Timber Ltd.
While the meeting does not start until Monday, Mr Carter will head to Tonga this weekend to play a role in the country's Anzac Day ceremony on Sunday.
Mr Carter will jointly lay a wreath with the New Zealand High Commissioner, Brian Smythe, during the Island's Anzac Day dawn service.